Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Goldeneye 007

I told myself today, "You cannot play anymore Goldeneye until you write the review. Stop neglecting your duties!" Well, here I am because dammit, I wanna play.

Where do I begin though? Goldeneye 007 is a re-imagining of the film with some elements borrowed from the Nintendo 64 classic. Note I didn't say it was a remake of anything because a remake this is not. I wont dive into it much for why this isn't a remake but a few reasons off the top of my head... here that goes. You wont find the classic multiplayer maps, nor some of the 64-based weapons, and the plot of the game itself doesn't entirely match the film. That last one said, luckily they hired one of the original writers of the film to write the script for this game. The story actually makes enough sense to not bother me personally and I'm a huge fan of the original film. It's my favorite Bond film in fact. I have a slight bigger issue with the cast changes but only because I love Pierce Brosnan and I miss Robbie Coltrane (who played Valentin). Any sane person however should be able to get over this and enjoy what the game is really about, being a fun FPS on the Wii.

The single player mode was something I was looking forward to just as much as the online multiplayer. From the first level through till the last one, I was completely engulfed by the presentation. There is a lot of effort here to immerse you into the role of Bond. While the first level, the classic Dam, has a lot of scripted segments, the rest of the game doles out these moments sparingly so that they don't become overwhelming. They pretty much always add to the experience. I loved the way that the EMP blast was done and how the final Cradle battle was handled. I played the game initially on the easiest mode, which does include regenerating health, but the fourth and final difficulty level borrows the health bar and health pickups of the 1997 Nintendo 64 title. Purists quit your bitching! Hurrah! I did play the highest difficulty level in the form of their Time Trials... and well my experience so far has been less than pleasant. It's insanely difficult, for me anyway. You have to pretty much run past every enemy in order to traverse these lengthy levels in typically under 10 minutes (not including the cutscenes). To me, that's not fun. I would have preferred either they make the time restrictions a bit more lax, or just changed it somehow that I can't think of. I don't find it fun when a game about being stealthy and accurate as Bond should be, becomes just how well you can be a bullet sponge without dying. Not fun at all. That's okay though because when I got frustrated with that, I just hop online and get frustrated some more... in a good way.

You'll come for the single player and stay for the online multiplayer. Matching up with random people works exceptionally well, with the exception of hosts quitting mid-match. Luckily that's not that often. Matching with your friend-code friends works pretty well too. The only downside is the somewhat awkward invite system. It works, but it just doesn't work perfectly. There's a great selection of maps to play and I having loadouts is unique. I suspect this might be an old feature for the FPS genre but still, it's pretty new to me. The only downside is that when you're just starting out, you wont have a loadout with neat gadgets or bonuses yet you'll battle someone who will. It's not a match-breaker though. If you're good, you're good no matter what. There's also a lot of different types of matches from your classic Conflict and Team Conflicts to the more unique ones like Heroes and the Black Box. It's been sucking my time like crazy the past eight-nine days. Part of the drive to keep this addiction up is the fact that the game utilizes a points earning system to unlock more modes and weapons and bonuses. Sometimes it feels like leveling up takes too long, but I guess I wont know until I continue. I'm around level 15 right now, and I know that some stuff wont unlock until level 52 or so... that'll take a long long time of online battling. I haven't played any off-line multiplayer but I would assume it's not much different. However, there is split-screen multiplayer. I don't really have the need for it anymore because my gaming friends have all since moved away or quit playing. Still, I really appreciate that they put it in there regardless.

One last thing I want to say is that the version I purchased was the one with the Gold Classic Controller Pro. I've never owned one and while I never did play this game with that controller (I used the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combo) I love the controller. It looks great, it feels great. It's not any cheaper getting the bundle versus buying a controller separately but it is the only way to get a gold colored one. If you haven't yet purchased a classic controller, I really would recommend getting one this way. If you already have one though, it's probably not worth it. I wont be using it for Goldeneye but you better believe I'll be using it for my VC and WiiWare purchases.

The Verdict:

Simply put; You should BOND with this game because it will BLOW you away. Well, I hope it will. It's a very solid shooter for the Wii with controls that are rather customizable in an almost Conduit quality. Lots of variety and it'll excite any Goldeneye-lover assuming they don't have a stick up their ass expecting something that was made thirteen years ago.

What I liked:

Brings Goldeneye to life in ways the 64 game couldn't. Online is very addicting! Production values are high.

What I didn't like:

Online can be unfair slightly. Music isn't as iconic as the 64 game, but blame that on nostalgia. Time Trial mode, while appreciated, is way too difficult for anyone but the most serious first-person shooter gamers.


  1. The main reason purists are bitching is because they kept advertising it as "The same classic Goldeneye you know and love!", then turning around and making it Call of Duty: Bond Edition.

    The music is definitely not as iconic as the original. Nostalgia be damned, those tunes were catchy. It's like replacing the music of No More Heroes with a generic orchestra, it doesn't feel right.

  2. Makes sense what you say about the advertising. I can see how it was misleading. Lucky for me anyway I enjoy it either way. As for the music, most definitely what you said. Something about those "DUNNN DUNNN DUN!" of the Frigate or whatever levels was heartwarming. Though after popping the game in again tonight after writing the review, I find that the title screen gets it right at least. That sounds great, lol.

  3. Booted up multiplayer.

    No levels with layouts that even slightly resemble old levels.
    No option for persistent health.
    Only loadouts. No weapons on map.
    No flag tag.

    wat is this called again

    The old level designs were timeless. Persistent health and weapons on map is still a perfectly valid game design (see: Halo). This game is literally Call of Duty: Bond Edition, as stated above.

    Story mode is reasonable, and even has a difficulty that's got persistent health. Multiplayer (more specifically, local multiplayer) is inexcusable, and apparently goes to show that Activision and whoever developed this do not know how to design a shooter that doesn't closely follow CoD's model.

    I suspect most positive reviews come from those who exclusively play single-player and online, which seems to be the case again here.

    I won't knock it for being a solid game, I will knock it for trying to attract those who loved the old game.

  4. Even if I played Local Multiplayer, I wouldn't be too disappointed that it didn't have the classic levels. This isn't Goldeneye 64. If I want to play that, I would just boot up my N64. Would it have been nice to have them? Hell yes, but will it ruin the game for me? Hell no.